________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 14 . . . . March 18, 2005

cover Gracie's Baby Chub Chop.

Gillian Johnson.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2004.
32 pp., cloth, $22.99.
ISBN 0-88776-693-5.

Subject Headings:
Dogs-Juvenile fiction.
Infants-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Catherine Hoyt.

**** /4

excerpt:

But Baby Chub was full of flaws,

He had no tail, no fur, no paws.

He lay about
On back and tummy

Sucking on

A rubber dummy.

 

His head was bald.

He had a rash.

He ate the most disgusting mash.


Gracie and Fabio had the perfect life until a visiting baby horns in on their territory. These canines are not impressed with the little intruder. Gracie decides to tolerate the family members lavishing all their attention on Chub Chop, but Fabio gives the baby a warning to stay away from his things.

internal art     The real trouble begins when father is left to babysit the newly toddling, Chub Chop. While Gracie and Fabio are off to the park, the pillaging, plundering Baby Chop gathers up a number of treasures including: a ball and bone, the telephone, brushes, leashes, the teddy, a pillow, Fabio's rug, a china plate and a christening mug. He even lugs away the children's puzzles and toys. Father sat and read the paper and never noticed Chub Chop with mother's pot of ink. When father finally looks up, Baby Chop is fast asleep, exhausted from his busy afternoon. Father doesn't notice the mess, but, when Gracie and Fabio arrive home, they sure do. Mother blames them for the mess instead of the little interloper. Gracie and Fabio are unfairly banished to the doghouse. While Fabio mopes, Gracie investigates. Gracie follows the trail until she locates all of the hidden treasures. Amid the chaos, Baby Chub Chop's parents arrive to reclaim their "treasure," and the family finally clues into who the real culprit was. Gracie and Fabio are vindicated and their family learns that:

When little angels

Start to walk,

They must be watched

Around the clock!"

      Johnson's delightful rhyming couplets make this an enjoyable read aloud choice. As a new parent with a dog, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale told from a canine point of view. I laughed out loud at Baby Chub Chop's antics. Children with new siblings may also be able to relate to suddenly losing the spotlight of their parents' attentions. The author/illustrator's watercolour and ink illustrations are complementary to the story. The illustrations are colourful and detailed enough to attract young readers.

     Gracie's Baby Chub Chop is a recommended purchase for public and school libraries. This hilarious tale would make a terrific gift for families with new babies. This second Gracie installment is even better than the first, My Sister Gracie. Fans of this canine pair will not be disappointed. I will be watching for their next adventure.

Highly Recommended.

Catherine Hoyt is the Public Services Librarian for the York Library Region in the province of New Brunswick. Catherine is currently on maternity leave with first child, Lena Anne.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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